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One definitely has the feeling that the Disney producers of this 50th Anniversary DVD release were more than a little strapped for materiel to pad out the movie – which is as short as it is gorgeously visualized, and set to Tchaikovsky’s lilting ballet music. It is the ultimate dance move; it seems as if every character, not just the two lovers are dancing, most of the time. The video itself looks quite lovely, clean and crisp, and I am sure the enhanced ‘surround sound” would have rattled the rafters, if I had the home theater sound system… er… and any rafters to rattle. Even at the length of barely over an hour, the movie enchanted the public almost as much as its creators —Walt Disney himself not the least. The castle in whose highest tower the lovely Aurora slept, waiting for true love’s first kiss was being built for real even as “Sleeping Beauty” was in production, to eventually become the landmark and logo for Disney’s real-world amusement park properties.

One of the extra features is a walk through of an original feature of the castle, in which park visitors peeped through keyholes, windows and doors at various scenes. This feature is long-closed, but was re-created electronically, using some of the still-extant features, which seem to have been just left in the closed up storage spaces within the Castle. There is a very long feature about the “Making of” in which a shout-out is given to just about everyone (living and dead) who had anything to do with the creation of the feature. We half-expected inclusion of the janitors who swept up and emptied out the trash baskets, since this kind of animation must have meant tons of it. There is also the usual collection of discarded story-boarded but never animated scenes, an alternate opening… and the Disney short about Grand Canyon, set to Ferdy Grofe’s music. Not sure what that was doing there, maybe for the classical music element.

Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is available at Amazon.com and at other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. Her next work, the Adelsverein Trilogy will be available in December, 2008. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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